Gamer for Life

Video Games over the years

When I was going through the garage in December to bring the Christmas boxes in the house, I came across our old Atari 2600, so I brought it in and sat it on our dining room table. I brought it in because I wanted to see if it actually worked, and naturally, I couldn’t find the power plug, so that’s a no. So I dusted it off so I could take a picture so I could tell you this story.

I was born in 1970, and the Atari 2600 came out in the late 70’s. My step father bought one, but kept it attached to the living room TV and wouldn’t let anyone play with it, so it sat there doing nothing. We would go to our cousins who had an Atari 5200, which in my opinion was way superior. Eventually in 1983 my step father put it in my bedroom, which was a walk in closet. Being “in the closet” took on a whole new literal meaning.

That was a decision I bet my parents would regret because I became unhealthily addicted to Pac-Man. Every level was the same exact level, the grid never changed. Here is how the game looked and sounded.

Moving right along…

We moved away from our apartment in 1984 to my aunts house in Simi Valley, and my beloved Atari was put in storage and I never saw it again. My cousins would eventually get a Nintendo Entertainment System, and they were 3 kids who all fought over it, and I wasn’t about to get into that fight because it was THEIR system, not mine. I decided that I didn’t really want to have anything more to do with video games until we were stable, so I didn’t want to play. They invited me to play Popeye, and I tried it once, but I didn’t care to invest my energy because I never knew if/when we would move away and I would have it taken away from me.

We did move away and into trailer parks where I played video games at their consoles in game rooms with quarters. I also had a little digital game that could fit into my pocket called Epoch Man that I enjoyed. I also had a Pac-Man watch with a joystick, so as far as I was concerned, I was set.

When I was 22 years old I got a Sega Game Gear with my 2nd boyfriend. We both bought them and we each had our own games. When he eventually broke up with me and I had to leave my apartment because I lost my job and didn’t even have money for food, I sold it at a pawn shop for a measly $20 for the entire package, including a case, several games and a TV tuner. That’s why I don’t have a picture.

When I was 24 years old I got a Nintendo Game Boy, which I still have with 1 game. We were always too broke for food and cigarettes for me, so every time we needed money, one game had to make a sacrifice, which is probably why I hoard games now lol. The Game Boy in its case along with a external battery that clips on to your belt as well as a cleaner disk is pictured above.

Some time in the early 2000’s, I had a website from a hosting company that gave me the option of selling web hosting to people. People would pay me the full price, and I would make a small profit every month. One of the hosting customers asked me if he could pay me for his hosting by selling me his Nintendo 64, and I said yes because I had always wanted one of those. I had a couple of games, but I did eventually sell it several years ago on eBay because I needed the money. It was fun playing it though.

I had played computer video games on my Apple //e in 1990-1992 when I had to sell that system. The one game I really had was King’s Quest 4 The Perils of Rosella. When I bought my computer in 1997, I found several Sierra game collections and bought them. I also played The Sims in 2000 and then in 2002 I started playing EverQuest and I played that for 6 years until 2008, which brings me to the PlayStation years.

In 2007 I bought a PlayStation Portable, aka PSP. I bought and still have 32 physical game UMD’s, and I don’t even know how many game downloads. I played that game so much that the power button barely turns it on anymore, and when it does turn on, the stick doesn’t work because when I try to go right, my character says “F you! I’m going left.”

In 2015 my partner bought me a PlayStation 4 for Christmas. I had asked for a PlayStation 3 because I thought it would be less expensive, but he insisted that if he was going to buy me a game system, he was going to buy brand new, not used, and it might as well be the most current system. Hey, I’m OK with pre-owned at Game Stop. Then I broke my leg in December 2016 and couldn’t play with my PS4  because I couldn’t sit straight up, so he took me to Game Stop in my wheelchair to buy me a PS Vita, which they had to order for me to be delivered to our house via UPS. I haven’t played with the PS Vita as much as I played with my PSP, but I do still play with it when I am not in my bedroom, which is where I play with my PS4 daily.

So that’s about it. That is my video game history. I have always been a gamer since I was a kid, and I will always be a gamer until the day I die.

By the way, the Atari 2600 you see in the picture above is NOT the same one from my childhood. My partner had that when we met.

Also note that I have also played video games on my smart phones over the years as well as my Nook HD+.

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PS Vita Borderlands 2 Bundle

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My partner didn’t know what to get me for Christmas, and I was dropping hints so big, I’m really shocked he didn’t get it lol. He finally did when I just blurted it out. A bit tacky, but whatever.

So he called Best Buy to find out if they had the PS Vita, and they said yes, so we got in the car to go and I told him that if truth be told, I honestly don’t want just the console, I’d rather have a bundle because it’s the same price, and you get a game AND a memory card. Best Buy only had the console, not the bundle. I looked on the Game Stop app and I thought they had the bundle, so we went to the mall and they said they didn’t have the bundle.

They said they just had the blue PS Vita, so we were just going to buy it on Amazon later, but I decided that I didn’t care about the bundle, I just want it, so we went back. They explained that I needed a memory card since the 1GB on board is used for the Vita OS, and it was too much for my partner, so we ordered the bundle to be shipped, and after shipping and the warranty, it came out to the same price lol. Oh well.

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The guy at Game Stop said Borderlands 2 will consume the 8GB memory card that comes in the bundle, so when we came home I bought a 32GB memory card for $62 and change, plus tax, plus shipping, and it will be here on Wednesday. The PS Vita will be here on Friday.

Today I went on the PlayStation app on my phone to see what games I already own that are compatible with the PS Vita, and it turns out I have quite a bit of games that will work. I listed them. I bought 2 extra games that I have many add-ons for that will work with the
PS Vita, so I figured I might as well have those games too. A lot of these games are on my PSP, but some of these games are only available for the PS Vita. I already own them, so now I can actually play them, and some of them I’ve played on my PSP, so I can play them again, but with an extra stick since my PSP only has the one stick on the left, and the PS Vita has the stick on the left and right.

PS Vita game list

I used to make PSP gameplay videos and post them on YouTube, and I was quite proud of them, but I stopped doing it because so many people made fun of the fact that my hands shake (I was born with a tremor in both hands, actually my entire body shakes). One or two people commented on how I was playing a game wrong since I wasn’t properly killing the monsters the way they would have killed the monsters. Talk about picking your battles. Dude, we all play games our own way, you play your way, I play mine. No one plays wrong. One person actually called me a pedophile. As if only children are allowed to play video games, give me a break. That was my deciding factor in quitting.

I discovered a device that you can plug your PSP into that will record your gameplay, which cuts out the need for a camcorder pointing at the screen, so no hands in the way, but I don’t know if it works with the PS Vita. If I can find out what other people use to record gameplay with the Vita, then I may consider doing that because I’d really love to record some videos again. I had so much fun doing that, and I love watching other people playing video games, so I want to do that again. If I need a device then I will buy one, but if you can do it directly from the Vita without the need for extra hardware, then I will do that instead.

So the 32GB memory card comes on Wednesday and the PS Vita comes on Friday. I wanted it so when I am in the living room, I will be able to play Destiny and Star Wars Battlefront using remote play, but I really want to play the other games like Borderlands 2 and some of these games I’ve listed. I will post again when it comes and after I’ve played around with it. Catch you on the flip side!

PlayStation Store Coupon Code

25% CouponA few days ago I pre-ordered Star Wars Battlefront Ultimate Edition on the PlayStation store on my PlayStation 4. I put it on my new PlayStation Capital One credit card. Thanks to me putting this on the new credit card, I got $50 PlayStation code which is currently in my account that I can use to spend as I like. It’s awesome because I paid $50 on the credit card today.

I also got an email from PlayStation with a nice 25% discount code on specific EA games thanks to my purchase. Bonus, right? The only problem is, the coupon doesn’t work. I was going to buy Plants VS Zombies Garden Warfare, but when I entered the coupon code, it said this coupon code doesn’t work for your country. I checked the email and it says it is good for the United States, and I am currently living in the United States. I went to the PlayStation website and requested a online chat with someone from PlayStation and gave them the coupon code and the email address that the email was sent from, and they told me that they are not associated with that email address.

It sucks that I can’t get 25% from this coupon code, but the good news is that I really didn’t want to spend my free $50 right now anyway. I want to wait until there is a specific game or expansion or maybe add-on that I want to buy to spend that $50. So it’s awesome that they gave me 25% off that I can’t actually use, but I think I’m good without it.

King’s Quest for PS4

King's Quest

I am SOOOOO excited right now. I saw a post on Facebook earlier this year that King’s Quest is coming back to life. The person who posted it was one of the people who was working on the game who works for The Odd Gentlemen. They said it would be out later this year, but couldn’t give me a date. I was under the assumption it would be late in the year, like around Christmas time, but I’m excited that it’s going to be THIS MONTH in July instead.

For those who have no clue what King’s Quest is, I urge you to buy the original PC collection which can be found on Amazon. The original PC collection works with XP, but I’m sure it will work in Windows 8, but I don’t know that for a fact. I have the earlier version that only worked on Windows 95/98 and wouldn’t work on XP at all. I had to find a program which I blogged about that has Sierra installers to allow the games to install and run. So if you have trouble installing the XP version, try the installers. If not then awesome, but you should really play the old versions. My first King’s Quest game was King’s Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella.

Anyway, the game is going to be out in 26 days and I will count the days like it’s my birthday lol.

What I hate about video games

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First off let me just say that I absolutely LOVE to play video games. I’ve been playing video games since Pong back in the 70’s. My first gaming system was the Atari 2600 and I’ve loved video games since I was a teenager. Video games have dramatically changed since Pong, and so has the thing that I hate the most about them, and that is the price.

First off, the consoles cost a ton of money. My PS4 was $400. I know they put a lot in to making these things and they should cost a lot of money, but come on, $400? I think they can come down to about $250 and still make a huge profit. God forbid you spill coffee on your game controller, that cost $60 to replace.

The thing that I hate the most though is the cost of video games. In 2007 when I had bought my PSP, I was shocked to see that the same games for my PSP was dramatically cheaper than the console version which was about $60 or $70. My PSP games (new) were no more than about $20 to $40 at the time. That’s why I was glad to have the PSP and not a console, but now I have a console and have to pay high prices.

Recently I got a $50 gift card for Amazon and I bought 2 games. They are both $40 or $50 on the PlayStation store, but they were both $19.99 on disc format on Amazon. One of them was Just Dance 2015, which by the way has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that I cannot dance to save my life. I tried one dance and they were so fast, I just couldn’t keep up. I was out of breath. They have all these extra songs you can buy for .99 to $2.99. I mean, they have a lot of songs too. If the game is $50 in the PlayStation Store, how can they charge so much for extras? I checked the extras for the other game I bought Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor and this is what I calculated.

shadows of mordor calculation

Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor cost $39.99 in the PlayStation Store, plus all the add-ons cost $68.83. How in the heck can anyone afford to pay $108.82 just for a video game? Video games are like stories, they eventually end at some point. You can play them again and again, but who wants to do that? Once you finish, you want to play another game, and how much is that game going to cost after you factor in all the add-ons? It’s ridiculous. I think if they are going to charge that much money for add-ons, they should just give you the game for free. It works for DC Universe Online, so why doesn’t it work for other games?

It took me a long time to even want a console, and I only wanted one because I wanted to play video games on a bigger screen, not just my old PSP or my cell phone, or even my Nook HD+ tablet. I wanted to play on the HDTV screen because it was a bigger experience. I know the game companies and the artists go through a lot of trouble and can take years of hard work and they have to pay actors to voice the characters. I know it cost a lot of money, but seriously, $109 for 1 game for 1 person is beyond ridiculous. Even if they gave the game away for free they would still make billions from the $68 worth in add-ons.

I’m just voicing my opinion. I know this is a big business and they aren’t in it to make people happy but to make themselves money, I get that, but come down on the price a bit and you will still be billionaires while your customers have to eat Top Ramen for a month to be able to afford 1 game.

UPDATE:

Ok so just a little  backpedaling lol… I received the game Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and bought up all the little .99 cent, $1.99 and $2.99 add-on’s, which left 2 of the $9.99 levels and the $24.99 thing, which turned out to be a season pass that I had no idea would have given me those 2 $9.99 levels for free. I don’t really know if it would have given me anything else, but it did say it gave me 2 other things that didn’t require a download, so I’m just going to assume I paid for those. Darnit! Next time buy the season pass and see what is left. Oh and the season pass was on sale for only $13.71, so that saved me a lot of money. I wasn’t going to buy the season pass or those 2 levels until something was on sale, and I’m glad I waited. Oh and every add-on is totally worth every dime.

Minecraft Pyramid

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I recently blogged about finding my old home in Minecraft. Well, near that old home is a NPC village which is right next to a desert. I wanted to build something that you would normally see in a desert, but wasn’t quite sure what to build. I heard someone say something about Egypt on TV, so that brought my mind to Pyramids, so that’s what I started to build.

This pyramid has taken at least more than a week to build. There was a sand mountain in the spot where I built my pyramid that I basically had to demolish while I was building the pyramid around it. The reason I chose this location was because it was right next to the NPC village, and I could use the material from the mountain to build the pyramid. First you have to turn 4 blocks of sand into 1 block of sandstone. To make the stairs you need 6 blocks of sandstone just to make 4 stairs. There is a specific block that I like to use called Chiseled sandstone that has a Minecraft logo on it. I use that for the floors and for the middle of the walls throughout the pyramid. I use the chiseled sandstone for the floors because the regular sandstone looks dirty on the bottom, and you don’t want a dirty ceiling. The chiseled sandstone is clean on the top and bottom.

Pyramid walls

I found a video on YouTube of a person who was showing off a game generated pyramid (from a mod) where it has mazes and a treasure room at the top, so that gives me an idea of what to put inside the pyramid. At first I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, because I’m not that creative, but I found a website that generates random labyrinth’s, so I will use that as a guide for each floor. The labyrinth’s have long hallways and rooms and dead ends. It’s similar to a maze, but with rooms.

mazeHere is just an example of how the labyrinth will look. I think it will be very neat to build. It would be neat if people could actually come visit my pyramid and walk through my labyrinth. I’m sure it will take me another month just to gather the material (mining sand and sandstone) to build the labyrinth on all 6 floors. There will be 7 floors, but the very top floor will most likely be a treasure room since it’s going to be very small. Of course, that requires treasure, of which I am very limited lol. I guess I could add some emeralds, gold and iron ingots and some food. I don’t really have anyone who will visit my world who would benefit from it.

Well, hopefully it won’t take me too much longer to finish this. This is the biggest building project I’ve worked on so far. I’ve actually gotten kind of bored with it because it’s such a huge job. I find myself falling asleep while my fingers are pressing the button to mine the sand and end up going deeper than I wanted.

I will post a video when I am finished with the labyrinth, but in the meantime, here is a video I made a couple of days ago before I finished the outside of the pyramid.

Lego Games

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When I was a child, I LOVED playing with Lego’s. I mean, sure I loved playing with a lot of my toys like Light Bright and my Construction Set, but Lego’s were what I really had fun with. I would literally be in my bedroom playing with them for hours. You know when you don’t hear a child, something’s up, they are doing something bad, but I wasn’t because I was building houses or robots or whatever.

I don’t recall when it happened, but my mother took away some of my toys to make room for newer, more mature toys, and the Lego bricks all disappeared. Sad but true Sad smile .

I have loved video games since I was 12. When I was 37 and bought my PSP, I found out they had Lego games. I was sure they were too juvenile for my age, then again I was a grown ass man age 37 playing video games, so I’m pretty sure I was the juvenile one lol. I actually loved it more than words can say. That first game by the way was Lego Star Wars II. I bought more as they released them.

This Christmas I got a PlayStation 4 and naturally I wanted to buy some Lego games. I was a bit disappointed that they were $60 though. Lego The Hobbit was $50, and I had $10 credit with my new PlayStation and I had $20 in PayPal, so all I needed was $20 which came out of my bank account. I just had to buy it. Lego Marvel Super Heroes was only $23.89 on Amazon and The Lego Movie Videogame was only $24 during a recent flash sale in the PlayStation store.

There is a huge difference in the games design from the PSP and the PS4 Lego games. For example, in the PSP Lego games, you find yourself in a specific building, or in the Star Wars case a ship and the Harry Potter games you are at the school. The PS4 Lego games are different in the sense that when you finish your level, you are back on the trail onto the next spot. I’ve played the Lego Hobbit game all the way to the end where you see the credits, as if it were the ending to a movie, but I’m only 23% into the game. I’ve finished story mode, I just haven’t gotten to any of the free play modes. I am not quite sure how to go into free play though. I did figure out how to get back to Hobbiton since they have a spot where you can fly with an eagle to wherever it is on the map that you want to go, but I still don’t know how to get to the free play mode. I have only finished the first level in the other two Lego games.

There are more Lego games I want to buy, like Lego Batman, but I will wait for that to either drop in price or be on flash sale. Lego Jurassic Park is coming this summer, and that will also be $60, so I will most likely have to wait for that to be on flash sale or $20 – $25 on Amazon.

I really love the Lego games, unfortunately I can’t afford to pay $60 for a game that I may or may not play and/or finish. I say that because I still haven’t finished any of my PSP Lego games. I’m at 98% with the first Lego Star Wars game, and around 95-98% with the first Lego Indiana Jones game. I haven’t finished them because it’s hard lol. Most of the other ones aren’t even close to 60% because I may have gotten bored with them or because I was more interested in something else.

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Lego Video games are cool, but I really wanted some actual Lego bricks, so I bought this little Minecraft Lego set. It’s very small and it sits on top of my PlayStation 4 on my desk. I really like how it looks and I would love to buy more sets, the only issue is that they cost a lot of money. This set was only $20 and I was very shocked at how expensive it was, but when I saw how expensive the other sets were, I was like screw that noise, I don’t want them THAT bad lol. I saw many Lego Star Wars sets for $10 each, and those would be cool to buy, except where do I have room for them? No where, that’s where. My bedroom is already bordering on hoarding. I think the Lego video games are the best use of space for me lol.

Lego’s are awesome.

Update: I finally figured out the PS4 Lego Games. You have to travel via eagle, which I figured that out already, but then you have to go on the map and click on the white bricks and the doors and the people and anything else that is on the map, then have it lead you to that spot. Once you get the white bricks, they disappear from the map. Once you get to a person and buy that person, I know that sounds funny, then that person disappears from the map. Once you get to a door and go into freeplay mode, well, that door doesn’t disappear because you have to have many chances to get in there, even if you’ve gotten everything out of there in story and freeplay mode. I went back to the very first thing in the story, but in freeplay mode and I missed something, so I have to go back. I did manage to get about 4 white bricks while I was back in Hobbiton. When I finished that freeplay, they teleported me back to the end of the game at the mountain where you find Smaug. It just sucks they didn’t add the 3rd movie to the game.

I’m sure it will take me a long time to finish the game. It took me about 6 months to get where I am in the Lego Star Wars II game on my PSP. That’s what I love about these games, they keep you playing for a long time, unlike some games that are so easy that you end up finishing them in no time.